May 18, 2010 | by Chris Smith
If you are a Moto DROID owner and have the same somewhat negative feelings about the stock Android Home screen and launcher, then you have probably been down the rabbit hole of home/launcher replacements. The one that I have stuck with for some time now, HelixLauncher, is somewhat stable, simple and convenient, but today I think I may have found the simplest and fastest home replacement yet.
LauncherPro Beta (2.x only – needs verification) is a simple and effective Android Home and launcher replacement. I am testing it on a Moto DROID with a custom Android 2.1 ROM. If you have used HelixLauncher you will be familiar with the way that LauncherPro looks. There is a four icon “dock” at the bottom of the screen that houses your phone, contacts, browser, and messaging app’s icons that doesn’t change from screen-to-screen. One miss-step is the fact that you can change the icons on the dock; you are stuck with what the developer thought were the most used applications. This could be fixed in subsequent updates, yet it is a little annoying.
Sliding from screen to screen will remind you of the way that HTC Sense sliding works (sort of fast with a little bit of “play” in the screen when you reach the next screen) and is generally fast and fluid. The launcher “flies-in” like the Nexus One and has the smoothest scrolling I have ever used on a launcher. The scrolling is as smooth as scrolling through your contacts; there are barely ever any hiccups and it works well. When you are in the launcher and hit the back button, the launcher icons “fly-out” and you return to your home screen.
Another excellent feature is when you are on your home screen and hit the home button on your phone, you will be presented with a card view (think HTC Sense) of all you home screens. Clicking on one will take you to the screen. Awesome.
Am I a LauncherPro fanboy? Yeah, I kind of am. Just ask Andrew. I have been trying to get him to try it for the last day.
- smooth home screen sliding
- up to 7 home screens
- fast launcher (with 3D transitions) with excellent scrolling
- handy “card view” by clicking on the home button
- No way to change the bottom dock icons
App: Launcher Pro Beta